Out of curiosity, I checked out Apple. Does a company with such a following even need a strong social media presence? I assumed that most of their social media presence would be created by Apple users rather than an official presence. We all know what they say about people who assume things — but this time it looks like I was right!
Digging around on Apple’s Web site I didn’t find any kind of connection to Facebook or Twitter. No liking things, no sharing products with friends. Apple has such a following and their Web site shows that they don’t depend on social media to get the word out there about Apple products. To see what kind of pages have been created for Apple on Facebook, I did a general search for “Apple” under pages and there are multiple results:
134,189 people like “apple :)”
65,027 people like “Apple”
23,154 people like “The Apple Trap”
277,054 people like “Apple Products”
All of these pages have been created by a random Facebook user, no Apple authority, and act as an open forum for people to post why the love or hate Apple.
On Twitter, Apple doesn’t have much of a presense besides people talking about apple. Tweets are abundant with “#apple” or any hashtag discussing Apple products. But, there is no verified Twitter account for Apple in general. I found an article claiming that the Senior Vice President of iPhone software, Scott Forstall, has a Twitter and was verified as being from Apple. The article, which can be accessed here, was the only way I was able to find any official Twitter connection to Apple. When you search for Apple on Twitter the only results you get are the verified accounts for iTunes TV. Funny thing is, Forstall has never tweeted.
Maybe we can attribute that Apple got “cool” around the same time that Facebook started to catch on. Furthermore, Apple was definitely at an established level of “coolness” before Twitter was in the now. Therefore, such a mega company with a cult-like following ( I am not judging, I love me some Apple) I can easily understand why they don’t think an official presence on these social media networks in necessary. Consumers and the media are doing all of the talking for them — for free.
In comparison, I want to look at something that is big in Philly, but next to apple an ant: the Reading Terminal Market. They’ve recently gotten into social media as a form of marketing and advertising.
On the market’s Web site the first announcement is encouraging visitors to follow the market on Twitter and be involved on the Facebook page. The respective “f” and “t” are there — actually that is all that is there. At this point there is no need to write out the full names, all you need is that little logo and everyone knows what to do.
In my opinion, the market is doing a nice job at keeping up with their social media voice. They are keeping the postings unique to either Facebook or Twitter and have a good variety of information. They often use pictures, too. Currently the market at 6,626 fans on Facebook and 2,398 followers on Twitter. I would measure the success of the market’s social media efforts not by likes, but my the dialogue that has been created. But, to mention the likes and followers, to see that many fans, likes and followers in a short amount of time is impressive considering that a large number of the patrons are older and more likely to opt out on the social media craze. Back to the dialogue, there are conversations happening on the Facebook wall, which I think speaks in volumes about the success of the network. People are “liking” what they see and returning and engaging in conversations that revolve around the market.